Dad, you were just a teenager… when you were forced to leave your country, your dreams and aspirations of finishing school and pursuing a career in México. You told me you cried the entire way until you crossed the border. You arrived in a new country where you were forced to leave a life behind to begin a new one where you felt alone and scared. You didn’t speak a word of English, you knew no one but your own brothers and father. After hours of travel, you finally arrived at a house that from then on would be yours. You didn’t have a day to explore and suck in the reality that you were facing… you began work the next day.
You’ve shared every detail of your journey with my sisters and I. From having to move around following ‘la corrida’ working long days in the fields, to having to give your family every single one of your paychecks because at the time, you had to survive. To dreaming of one day owning your own home and maybe having a family to share that all with.
My first day of college, you drove me to San Francisco, you dropped me off and handed me a letter, you told me how important this was to you…after not to having had the opportunity to pursue an education, your biggest goal and dream was that your daughters and wife could and would. You’ve given up everything to give us an opportunity you didn’t have.
You’ve always had big dreams for me, you’ve pushed me to excel and challenge myself. You believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. You’ve taught me and constantly reminded me that one has control of their destination. Dices, “la mente lo domina todo”. At one point, I didn’t quite understand what you meant…I do now. You’ve accomplished what a boy coming from a small ‘pueblo’ in México could only dream of. You’ve set an example and a letter of gratitude couldn’t do an inch of justice.
Just the other day, a friend asked me where my drive came from… my response, “my father”.
Dad, you believe in working hard, giving back, and sharing your love and energy with others. You’ve raised me to be outspoken and to fight for what I believe in, even if that meant trying to convince you of some crazy idea that I had, which you might not have fully believed or agreed with. You still supported me, you still support me.
You’ve given me that strength and courage I’ve needed. Because of you, I am who I am.
For this and more, I want to say thank you y feliz día del padre.